Thanks to nearly £10,000 of funding from Leeds Cares, comfort care packs for relatives will now be available across all wards at Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

The packs of toiletries are given out to relatives of dying patients once a doctor or nurse has identified that the patient is palliative. The packs contain items like tissues, deodorant, socks and a dental kit; to support family members who need to stay overnight unexpectedly.

The packs were originally trialled at Leeds Cancer Centre but following successful feedback, will now be available across the hospitals.

Around thirty packs are handed out for overnight stays every week across Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

Spending time with loved ones at the end of their life can be a very challenging situation. Many families who stay with relatives in hospital in their final hours are often unprepared for an overnight stay.

Kerry Hunter, End of Life Care Clinical Nurse Specialist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: “Comfort Care Packs are a fantastic gesture during what is a very difficult time. The packs are part of the new SUPPORT campaign at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, which encourages simple, practical things staff can do to support relatives of patients approaching the end of their lives.”

One family member who’d spent the night at the bedside of her dying father said: “When you’re in this situation, your whole world shrinks down to this one room. Everything revolves around each word, each movement, each breath. At times like these, small acts of kindness are worth their weight in gold.”

Leeds Cares Interim Managing Director Andrew Cratchley said: “We know it is often the little things that make a big difference, so we are delighted to fund Comfort Care Packs, which I am sure will be greatly appreciated by the friends and families of these patients.

“Being able to offer these items to allow people to freshen up during a very difficult time can make a huge difference to families.”